Mansions of the Moon Tower

Mansions of the Moon Tower

Mansions of the Moon Tarot

Traditional Meaning:  Sudden, disruptive and potential devastating change.  A shattering, eye-opening experience that changes one’s perspective forever.  A dramatic, sudden and unexpected clearing away of obstacles so that the path ahead becomes clearer.  Disaster and upheaval.

TarotBroad’s Buzz: The image is very traditional in nature but the addition of the figure in the sky shooting a bolt of fire at the tower changes it slightly. This gives the impression that the destruction of the tower is not an “act of God” or a natural phenomenon, adding another layer to the card.

This image suggests that there may be times when we experience Tower episodes which are the direct result of someone else’s impact on our lives. This may be in the form of a divorce, or other marital shake-ups, or the boss from hell, or perhaps from some government official or politician. Certainly one of the most dramatic examples was seen on Sept 11th. The destruction of the Twin Towers was the direct result of one man’s decision and his followers’ agreement. Destiny or fate was not the dominant factor in that event (at least not obviously so).

This card is a clear reminder that we can also create Tower moments in someone’s life. Perhaps it occurred as a result of a thoughtless comment that preyed on the recipient. Or perhaps you found yourself in a situation where you were the third wheel in a relationship or having to terminate the employment of someone in a difficult life situation. The fact of the matter is that none of us live in a vacuum so we may very well have had a Tower impact on someone else’s life of felt someone else’s impact in our own.  This has always been one of my issues with the Wiccan Rede “As it harm none, do what thou wilt” (or whatever variant you prefer).  The reality is that it is almost impossible not to cause harm to others through our own actions – no matter how unintentional.  If I win something that means someone else had to lose.  If I am hired then others were not.  We can try to ameliorate the harm we cause but causing some form of harm would seem to be inevitable for most of us.  I must admit there have been times when I feel like Godzilla rampaging through Tokyo because I seem to hurt everyone with whom I interact.

Maybe in order to free ourselves from the Devil’s chains we had to create a Tower moment in our own life. Consider situations where a woman leaves an abusive relationship or a person decides to face the truth about their own sexuality. These may be moments where we deliberately shatter our own lives in order to be more true to ourselves. Addicts trying to clean up their lives create Tower experiences in order to overcome their habit. All this and more is what this card brings to mind. Yes, there is the destruction and devastation, but once all the shaking is done we finally have a chance to start picking up and rebuilding our lives. It might not be easy but it can certainly bring a sense of liberation in the long run.

You always hate the one you love

I have been watching (well okay, binge watching) the Brit TV show Midsomer Murders and I’ve noticed a pattern that made me wonder about relationships. In each show there seems to be at least one couple in which one partner is continually putting the other down; the wife who scorns the husband’s lack of ambition or the husband show scorns the wife lack of sophistication. I have seen this in real life relationships as well. It seems as if the very traits that attract us to a mate in the first place begin to grate on our nerves over time. This is not always the case but it is common enough that it made me wonder why we sometimes start to hate the ones we love. What goes on in our minds that changes what were once endearing and attractive qualities into ones we despite and loathe.

Vampire Lovers

I am far from a relationship counselor but I do occasionally find myself struck by insights into human nature. For example I find it sadly amusing when couples who spend an inordinate amount of time planning a wedding end the marriage within a year. It’s as if they were (well, let’s be honest here, it’s usually the bride) so wrapped up in the ceremony they gave little thought to the actual relationship. Taking that theory to the next level, how often do partners in a relationship see their significant other as clay to be molded rather than as a fully formed independent human being? Based on the number of divorces out there, I’d have to say quite a few.

DruidCraft 6 of Cups

I’ve often heard the comment “he’ll change once the children come” or “once you’re married she’ll settle down”. I wonder what these folks are thinking. Why would the arrival of children change someone’s true self? It might change their behaviors but I’ve found that this often leads to resentment. For example, I know a man who held a part-time job he loved making okay money. He was not the primary bread winner in his relationship and he was okay with that. His job left him with free time to do what he enjoyed. Then his partner announced she was pregnant. They got married, he changed jobs to one with a better salary but that he hated. He stuck with it as the second, third and fourth child arrived. Then one day he left the wife and kids and began having an affair with an old girlfriend. He did return to the wife and kids but the story made me wonder why his wife thought having children would eventually grow on him, despite his protests that he wasn’t ready to be a father at that time. In forcing the issue did she create a pattern that inevitably lead to that outcome? I’m not sure but I doubt it helped the situation.

DruidCraft 3 of Cups

I’ve seen a number of people (usually women) marry partners who enjoy hanging out and partying with their friends (indulging or even over-indulging in alcohol among other things). They seem to believe the partner will stop indulging once their married and will settle into quiet domesticity once the children are born. Why? Clearly that is often an erroneous belief that often results in embittered divorced people. Could it have been avoided if the partners took each other at fact value and accepted the statements each made about themselves?

For that matter why do people not believe you when you state you do not want children? And why don’t more potential spouses discuss this with each other? I’ve come across quite a few wives who cannot believe it when they learn their husband does not want children or vice versa. When asked for details it is often revealed that they never discussed the issue before they were married because she assumed he wanted children or they did and she assumed he’d change his mind. When I was younger and told people I didn’t want children (never have, never will), I often got a patronizing ‘oh you’ll change your mind once you’re a mother” type responses. Thank the gods I met a man who felt the same way about the issue that I did and we discussed it once we realized our relationship would be long term. I don’t understand this assumption that everyone should want children and having them will be the greatest thing since sliced bread. In fact I can thing of few things more guaranteed to kill a troubled relationship than parenthood.

Once again, I have few answers and lots of questions. I can only believe that clear communication (and accepting what your partner tells you) can help matters but I doubt it’s a perfect solution. I suppose the reality is that sometimes one partner changes and the other doesn’t. Sometimes we delude ourselves about who our partner is and what personality traits he/she possesses. We lie to ourselves and we lie to the people in our lives. It may not always be intentional but it can definitely harm our relationships.

DruidCraft 4 of Cups

In defense of The Hierophant

I had a bit of an epiphany about The Hierophant the other day (I love when that happens). As I was looking at the card it suddenly struck me that perhaps many of the traditionally negative attributes associated with The Hierophant are because of our own expectations of spiritual authority figures.

Pearls of Wisdom Hierophant

When one considers the spiritual leader most often associated with this card is The Pope and when one looks at the history of the papacy and its abuses, it’s very easy to get a bad taste in your mouth. It’s not limited to the papacy; it seems to me that powerful high priests in ancient pagan religions created the same kind of negative attitudes. Whenever spiritual leaders acquire power (and mix in politics) we seem to see similar patterns develop. Consider this however, what came first the chicken or the egg? Is it that the types of people drawn to positions of authority (whether spiritual or political) possess character traits that cause them to abuse this power? Or that the demands put upon them by their followers force them to become that way?

I remember reading James Michener’s book The Source and one point he makes is that people get the gods they demand. Perhaps the same is true of spiritual leaders. When one gets passed the hype, at his core Jesus appears to have been a teacher. He used parables and personal examples to get his message through to his followers. He was not trying to force them to submit. He was just showing them a new way of relating to Yahweh and each other. Clearly that has mutated as his spiritual successors have acquired more prominence and power but did it have to be that way? What happened that allowed the papacy to claim such power over people’s lives?

I believe the sad but true fact is that many (of not most) people out there want to be told what to do with their lives. They desire a rule book, a set of instructions telling them what is good and what is bad; how to live their lives so that they will go to heaven. They want a clear map to help them find their way through this confusing, sometimes dark and often chaotic thing we call life. Lest it seem that I am picking on Catholicism (it’s just the Christian religion with which I’m most familiar), I see the same trend in various Pagan sects. How many high priestesses and high priests become de facto parent figures for their coven? How many find themselves besieged by followers (not coven mates) pleading “tell me what to do?” It drains them and in my opinion is the reason that paid clergy has become such a hot topic. If coven leaders are being called upon to service so many different needs among their co-religionists it leaves them with little time for anything else. It makes the idea of being compensated for their efforts seem reasonable. Of course my problem is that if I didn’t want to be told what do as a Catholic I certainly refuse to be told what to do as a Pagan.

Blue Rose Hierophant

In my current favorite TV show Supernatural there is an angel named Castiel. At several points Castiel is asked to lead the other angels. They plead with him to tell them what to do next. He tries to explain the concept of free will to them but they insist that they require his guidance. Each time he tries to guide or lead them things turn into a clusterfuck but is that his fault? He is trying his best to help his fellow angels because they feel unable to make decisions on their own. At the same time, Castiel is clearly not competent to lead them. His intentions are good but the results are not. Is that how abusive spiritual leaders are born? Are they initially teachers seeking to help querents, those lost souls seeking guidance, whose demands eventually push the teacher to make increasingly autocratic decisions?

The truth is that I don’t have the answers. I’m simply pondering this stuff and sharing it with whoever ends up reading this post. I guess at the end of the day all I can hope for is to raise questions in the minds of others; to find teachers rather than spiritual leaders. Maybe if we stop accepting or expecting that leaders (spiritual or political) have the right to ignore our wishes and requirements and tell us how to live, we’ll be able to create a better world. I remain eternally hopeful.

Celtic Wisdom Changer

Celtic Wisdom Changer

Celtic Wisdom Tarot
Text by Caitlin Matthews, art by Olivia Raynor
Destiny Books, 1999
ISBN 0-89281-720-8

The Book says: The Changer shows the god Taranis (the Thunderer) wielding his lightning bolt. The Romans associated Taranis with Jupiter and his thunderbolt. Taranis turns his wheel and everything is changed utterly. Victims dedicated to Taranis were stabbed to death as part of his sacrificial rites. The upturned cauldron in this card appears in numerous stories where guests are invited to a specially built hostel by their enemies, only to find that the hostel is made of iron, that is has been heated from outside, and that there is no way out.
Keywords: Complete or sudden change, alteration of the world as one knows it, shocking or traumatic incident, old habits overthrown, breakdown, routine destroyed, revelation, clarifying or cleansing event, humility.
Reversed: Cooperation with disastrous influences, refusal of help, repression, ignoring warning signs, the prolongation of suffering, trapped in the past, calamity, squalor, clouded motives, hubris.
Soul-Wisdom: What old habits, concepts, and structures have you outgrown?

TarotBroad’s Buzz: There is a sense of energy and upheaval in this card. The Changer’s energy will shake-up your life and turn over everything you’ve ever believed. He will force the changes only implied in the Wheel of Fortune, whether you are ready or not. His lightning bolt will shoot illumination and change into our lives. While this upheaval may be beneficial in the long run, its initial impact will probably not seem helpful. In fact we may resent and resist the change, seeing it as something destructive and traumatic, but one of the things this card may show us is that these experiences are a necessary part of our growth.  They help us transform and alter our reality. Sometimes we have to be forced out of our rut or to move on to break free of our self-defeating patterns.

I think the key to understanding this card is to accept that sometimes we need to be shaken out of our complacency. It is natural to want things to stay the same in our lives; there is a comfort to familiar things. Even if things sometimes become too routine or boring, we still prefer that to the unknown. The Changer shows us that there are moments in our lives when we need to face the unknown. Sometimes we need to move on in order to find happiness and fulfillment in our lives, The Changer helps us (indeed forces us) to make this move.

Riddikulus: Slaying inner demons with the magic of humor

Okay, first things first. I may have hinted at or even mentioned it before but my childhood was messy. I suffered from physical, psychological/emotional and sexual abuse at the hand of a family member. I’m not going into details because the reality is they’re not important. They’re not necessary for the point I’m trying to make. Suffice it to say that my family put the fun in dysfunctional.

Dark Carnival Strength

I have often made light and joked about these experiences in an effort to make them less important. I refuse to be defined by them and when I was growing up it was much too easy to be labeled “the girls who was raped” or “the girl from that white trash family”. As it was my family was a bit notorious because my parents were very young (Mom was 16 and Dad had just turned 17) when I was born. As a result many of the neighborhood busybodies watched me for years waiting for the demon horns they just knew existed to sprout from my forehead. Rather than becoming a statistic I married a man I love and not because I was pregnant. I managed to complete two master degrees in different majors and for many years was a successful career woman. I showed them! ;D

Norse Tarot 3 of Cups

One day while joking about some of my family dysfunction with some newly acquired friends, one of them suggested that it wasn’t healthy to joke about the pain I experienced. At the time I felt shamed and embarrassed, as though I wasn’t handling it correctly. Now my response would be a more colorful variation of “Screw you”. Joking was the healthy way for me to handle it – then and now. I recently realized that J.K. Rowling even offered a spell for just this type of situation in the Harry Potter series – Riddikulus!

Baubo Siren of Earth Dark Goddess Tarot

By joking about the abuse and demons that tormented my childhood I was making light of them; making them ridiculous and less dangerous. Sometimes when you can’t face and defeat the monsters attacking you then the only option is to make fun of them and drain off their power. Laughter is powerful magic. In fact in ancient Ireland the mockery of a bard was seen as damaging and harmful, especially if one is a king who has been mocked. It could reveal your unworthiness to the world.  Laughing at what scares us can help release some of the paralysis that chains us in place. It can help us get moving again; to find our way to a better, safer place. Thank all the gods for laughter!  It can help cleanse the most tormented soul.

I find it interesting when I’ve come across folks in life who seem to have no sense of humor. They see themselves as sober, “God-fearing”, practical folks. In reality I think they are the sickest among us. They have no ability to access the magical healing power of laughter. In the movie Dogma, Salma Hayek, playing a Muse, states that Catholics don’t celebrate their faith they mourn it.  It’s an interesting point. People who seem to have no sense of humor about their faith suck all the joy out of it. Who wouldn’t want to have joy and laughter in their spiritual celebrations.  Some of the most powerful rituals in which I’ve ever participated had moments of silliness, laughter and a touch of chaos.


So from personal experience let me offer this one piece of advice – no matter how dark and desperate things may seem, find a way to laugh. If you can’t find a way to joke about your own experiences then at least find a comedian or movie that makes you laugh and watch it. Laugh until you cry; until you are purged of those poisons and toxins that are building up in your system. Believe me, I can take life much too seriously but I was blessed to find a man who taught me how to laugh at myself. He gifted me with the healing magic of laughter and for that I will always be grateful.

I have a well-known propensity for laughing hysterically at farts and/or fart-jokes.  In fact my mother purchased me a t-shirt emblazoned with the phrase “You’re never to old to laugh at fart jokes”.  For a long time I felt guilty about this habit – as though it revealed a tacky, low-class side to my personality.  Now I embrace it because I realize that if I can laugh at one of nature’s smelliest, most embarrassing and humiliating moments, then I can laugh at anything life throws my way. My wish for anyone reading this is that you are learn to laugh at farts; that you are able to laugh at whatever craziness life throw your way.  That you learn to tap into the powerful magic of laughter for yourself.

Family Wyrd – when weirdness is generational

I recently completed an inner labyrinth journey using the Majors and Aces from the Dark Goddess Tarot. It was very transformative and magical and left me very excited to continue. So I have decided to work with Runes. I’ve dabbled in them for many years but have rarely focused on them in a more serious, structured manner. I started working with Runic Half-Months and drawing an additional rune each day to help me better connect with the energy of the rune of the half-month. Then I draw two Tarot cards for additional clarification and insight.

One thing working with the runes has made me think about is personal and ancestral wyrd or fate. How do the patterns woven by our ancestors play out in our own lives and in the patterns we now weave? I’ve always found it interesting that in ancient Norse mythology and belief the future is viewed as “that which is becoming”. It is not something set it stone; it changes and shifts according to our current actions. We literally create what will become in our lives by changing that which is right now. That is powerful. It takes our future out of the hands of some distant, impartial deity and places it firmly in our own hands. Now for some folks that is not a blessing but I embrace it wholeheartedly.

Dark Goddess Stars Spiderwoman

Of course it then made me wonder how my own family’s wyrd has impacted my ancestors and me. I’ve mentioned before that seeing the patterns woven through the tapestries of various family members’ lives has helped me forgive and let go of certain childhood pains. It has also made me aware of certain patterns that permeate my family line through generations. Substance abuse is a very strong thread as is abusive relationships of various stripes. On a slightly more comic note, the women in my maternal line seem to have a pattern of marrying relatively useless men and then needing to work to support them (this is a thread I have pulled out of my own tapestry).

Dark Goddess 3 of Earth

My family is not cursed but we certainly have made a hobby of being oblivious to how our own choices echo those of our ancestors. Perhaps if we were more cognizant and aware of the patterns we could have made better choices. Of course it’s never too late to change the patterns and weave a different tapestry. The true curse in any family history is the inability to see how you can change it in your own life. Instead we create self-fulfilling prophecies and tell ourselves it was inevitable and nothing we did would have changed anything. I think that’s bullshit! Every change we make in our lives today will change how our story continues. If we believe we are condemned to repeat the mistakes of our ancestors then that’s what will happen.

Lover's Path Justice

I have decided that I’m going to continue pulling out those threats that taint my tapestry. Like Penelope in The Odyssey, I will not allow my fate to be determined by anyone but me. I’m going to make sure that which is becoming in my life is beautiful, joyful and worthwhile. Perhaps things won’t always be easy but I don’t think that was ever part of the program. I have to do what I think is right for me. It might not be easy but I’ve got quite a stubborn streak (that was inherited from my maternal line too).

Wheel of Change Tower

Wheel of Change Tower

Wheel of Change Tarot
created by Alexandra Gennetti
Published by Destiny Books, 1997
ISBN #0-89281-609-0

The Book Says: In a reading, this card represents a loss of structure – perhaps a straight-forward physical loss, such as losing one’s job or home, or a more complex emotional loss, such as feeling of being misplaced or terribly wrong. It can represent a world in which you feel out of control, a world where others determine your future with no regard for your needs. A worst-case scenario is a world of war. The Tower can represent ineffective communication, either by yourself or by others towards you, perhaps in the context of an important relationship. This may leave you feeling isolated and remote, as if you were physically ensconced within an ivory tower. Your only way out is to break the spell of the distance you feel and to admit your pride and arrogance in order to resolve the impasse. The appearance of the Tower in your reading indicates that while the world may seem to crumble around you, perhaps this is the way that balance and harmony will be restored. The feelings you experience during a true titanic crisis will strip you to your soul, and through this kind of experience you may undergo a purification that will help you to find the creativity to go on.

TarotBroad’s Buzz: This card is one of almost absolute destruction. The tower is full of smoke and fire and not likely to survive. The volcanic eruption is filling the streets with lava, smoke and ash. It reminds me of what Pompeii must’ve looked like when Mt. Vesuvius spewed molten lava and ash across its streets. The searing heat of the lava must’ve felt unbearably suffocating. The lightning bolts shooting through the sky are threatening and frightening.  This image reminds me of a scene from an Irwin Allen disaster movie. The entire world seems to be destroying itself.

I have to admit that there doesn’t seem to be much hope in this card. And with things standing the way they are right now if almost seems prophetic. It certainly seems to bring to mind the current situation in the Middle East, especially Syria; explosions, eruptions, fire and devastation. Everything will be razed to the ground, with nothing left standing.  The only hope is that people are escaping. They manage to free themselves from the destruction and devastation and hold the hope of rebuilding and restoring some sense of structure and order. It brings to mind the Stephen King book The Stand which describes what happens to the survivors of a deadly, lab created virus which escapes a military installation. Civilization and life as they know it no longer exists. And the survivors must struggle to rebuild while at the same time, hopefully, avoided the same traps that condemned their civilization to destruction. The one hope the Tower holds is that we can learn from the destruction and devastation and take steps to prevent such things from happening again.